Introduction: Just in Time for BBQ Season Homemade Pickles

My weekly CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture) included a fun new-to-me vegetable - the Italian Pickling Melon. Similar to a cucumber and just as crisp and delicious, I decided to try out their pickling recipe and share it here on Instructables. Making homemade pickles is an easy process and a great use of the extra mason jars I have lying around, plus it never hurts to have a jar handy now that summer is upon us and there will be plenty of BBQs to use up these fresh pickles in the coming weeks.

The photos are all my own. The recipe came from their site here:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To make your own homemade pickles, you will need:

1 quart jar with a lid (be sure to sterilize your jars first! directions on that can be found here)

2-3 pickling cucumbers (as many as can fit in the jar). You can also use cucumber, peppers, or just about anything to pickle. Like I said, I used pickling melons because they turned up in my CSA and I wanted to try something a little different.

5 sprigs of fresh dill

2-4 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced

3 Tbsp white distilled vinegar

½ - 1 Tbsp kosher salt, to taste

distilled or filtered water – enough to top off jar

20 black peppercorns, optional

¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional

Fun tip: I received this crinkle-cut knife as a gift a while ago and occasionally use it for cheese, but was more excited than I probably should have been when I realized I could cut up the pickle slices with this knife to give the edges a ridged texture.

Step 2: Cut, Measure, Fill

The next step is simple.

Slice up your vegetable to pickle however you want - spears, slices, chips - and add them to the jar.

Next, add the sprigs of fresh dill, white vinegar, salt, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and crushed garlic. This should pretty well fill the jar with soon-to-be pickly goodness. The only thing left to do is top off your mason jar with distilled water and be sure to fill it right up to the brim.

Step 3: Batten Down the Hatches! (The Last Step)

Secure the mason jar by double-checking the lid is on properly once you've filled it with water, then give it a good shake to make sure all of those herbs and spices mix throughout the jar evenly.

Sit the jar right-side-up for 12 hours and then flip it over for another 12 hours before tasting the final product. Keep these little gems refrigerated if you're not going to eat them right away and use them up within a month of pickling.

Happy BBQ season, all!


Mattazin made it! (author)2014-07-21

Great! Can't wait to make pickles! Do you know how to make vinegar? I just got some Heinz unfiltered with the Mother. Want to save the Mother and make some homemade.

craftclarity made it! (author)2014-06-04

MAAAAN these look delicious.

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-07-16


skeptikool made it! (author)2014-06-01

You might like to also try alternate layers of sliced beetroot and Spanish onion - a yummy addition to any meal. Agree on the half vinegar and water.

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-07-16

Thanks for the suggestion, skeptikool! I think the difference in the amount of vinegar might be for the italian pickling melon instead of standard pickling cucumbers. These are delicious as-is, but then again I'm sure more vinegar would be good, too - just more tangy.

pi526 made it! (author)2014-07-16

Can't wait to make these, with Heinz vinegar, of course!

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-07-16

I'm a Pittsburgh native - you better believe I use Heinz ;-)

fasteddy999 made it! (author)2014-05-29

My mom taught me to use 50% vinegar/50% water for fresh pickles. Your recipe is a little shy on vinegar.

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-05-30

Thanks for sharing another variation, fasteddy! I've enjoyed this recipe featured here - I'm sure more vinegar would work as well.

OldElvis made it! (author)2014-05-29

You should mention that the Jars should be sanitized.

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-05-30

Good call, OldElvis! Thanks for pointing that out - I'll add it to my steps above.

momoluv made it! (author)2014-05-26

This is really cool. Great job. Have fun with that 3 month pro membership and use it well;)

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-05-29

Thanks! Many things to make in the coming months.

grapenut made it! (author)2014-05-29

CSA=Community Supported Agriculture

3 tbsp of Distilled vinegar? That doesn't seem like much; What would you guess the ratio of water to vinegar is? Looks Delish...

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-05-29

Yes, only 3 tablespoons of vinegar. I didn't measure the water - just did as the recipe said and filled the rest of the jar - but I'd guess I put close to a full cup of water in. The taste is fresh and tangy, but you could always add more vinegar to taste if you'd like.

Also, thanks for reminding me to spell out CSA! I've edited the intro text.

kevenr17 made it! (author)2014-05-26

Looks great! I really like those slices!

acoens made it! (author)acoens2014-05-26

Thanks! I think they'll be a great size for sandwiches.

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